Saint Anthony Church is the oldest Catholic Church in Long Beach. Bishop Conaty celebrated the first Mass on July 19, 1903. The church was a modest one, with a seating capacity of 200. The need for a larger church soon became evident to meet the demands of an ever-increasing congregation. Plans were drawn up and the cornerstone laid on Oct. 24, 1913. The original church was moved to the back of the property and later to 1804 Cerritos Ave. where it is still standing and serving the Cambodian community.
Saint Anthony parish opened the first Catholic school in Long Beach in Sept. 1907 with an enrollment of 40 students up to and including the ninth grade. It was closed temporarily due to a lack of funds but reopened in 1919 when the Immaculate Heart Sisters came at the Pastor’s request. The Sisters opened the first Catholic High School in 1920.
The Church built in 1914 was destroyed in 1933 and had to be completely rebuilt, as well as much of the school buildings. After Monsignor Bernard Dolan arrived in 1938, extensive remodeling of the second Church took place including the addition of the beautiful mosaics and marble that make St. Anthony so notable.
Today the Parish has more than 3000 families registered and serves over 1000 students in Religious Education. There is a thriving Preschool and Elementary School with an enrollment of over 200 and a College Preparatory high school with 500 students.